With a fabulous new showroom on the King’s Road, gift list company Wedding Presents Direct gives tips on creating a list that will be appreciated by wedding guests – and stand the test of time in your home
[dropcap]E[/dropcap]stablished in 1994, Wedding Presents Direct is something of an expert on what it takes to create a good wedding gift list. The company has a swish new showroom (by appointment only) in the Furniture & Arts Building, Chelsea, as well as a second showroom in Norfolk, plus a website where couples and gift givers can make their choices. It boasts an impressive list of stockists, from AGA and Nina Campbell to Robert Welch and Wusthof Knives. Alongside these big names, you’ll find eclectic and one-off designer items, as well as vintage finds.
The London showroom shows just how much fun a gift list should be, featuring layouts that represent key rooms, from kitchen to bedroom, plus a fabulous china display area. Working with many couples over the years, the team at Wedding Presents Direct have come up with a list of six golden rules for ensuring your wedding gift list brings pleasure for years to come.
Treat this as a once-in-lifetime opportunity
As co-founder and partner of Wedding Presents Direct James Dundas points out: “There is a real danger these days of losing sight of what a wedding list is all about”. While many couples have lived together and accumulated a house full of stuff, often it’s a mishmash of two people’s possessions with no real coherence. So having a wedding list is a fantastic opportunity to upgrade and choose objects together that can be enjoyed for years to come.
Include presents that will stand the test of time
While the latest trend in gadgets or electricals is tempting, it’s likely to be superseded a year or so down the line. But Egyptian cotton sheets, classic cutlery or Le Creuset kitchenware doesn’t date. This doesn’t mean leaving new and funky kitchen or barware off the list, but do include some gifts that you know have staying power.
See and touch before you choose
Visiting a wedding gift list showroom, or a retailer that stocks the brands you are considering, gives you a chance to see and examine things up close – a sensible move if you are thinking of giving them house-room. And nothing beats a face-to-face meeting with experts who know the products and have helped many other couples go through exactly the same process of shortlisting and deciding on the items they would love to receive.
Be personal and original
Wedding gift lists are an opportunity to define your style and express something about yourselves, so do include special and personal pieces as well as life’s essentials to give gift givers as much choice as possible. At Wedding Presents Direct, options range from a life-size fibreglass gorilla to vintage silver sourced from antique fairs. Every list needs to feel personal to the couple, so enjoy this opportunity to express your shared taste through memorable and unique pieces.
Don’t get stuck on one room
James Dundas says his team have noticed there can be a tendency to get hung up on a particular area of the home. “Some couples get stuck in the kitchen or focus on choosing objects for the bedroom or sitting room and forget to consider other areas”. Adding garden furniture, games – even pet accessories – will create a balanced list that also matches your lifestyle and doesn’t overload one area of your home at the expense of another.
There are no rules, so do mix and match
Don’t let your wedding list become too safe. While matching china sets – always a traditional item on the gift list – are deservedly popular, there is no reason why you can’t mix things up if that suits your lifestyle and taste. Current trends for wedding couples include mixing block colour and pattern on informal china to add colour and interest to the kitchen. The same trend is creeping into the bedroom, where bolder florals and stripes are making a comeback on bedlinen and soft furnishings. A gift list is effectively a blank canvas to express your taste, and also a golden opportunity to choose things you love and will enjoy using together.